BREAKING NEWS!! CHINA SHORTENS QUARANTINE DAYS OF INT'L TRAVELERS TO 7 DAYS OF CENTRALIZED ISOLATION
• China on Tuesday announced changes to its pandemic control policy that will make it easier to enter the country, including less onerous Covid-19 testing requirements.
• Overseas travelers will only need to quarantine at a centralized facility, such as a hotel, for seven days upon arrival in mainland China, the National Health Commission announced Tuesday.
Xinhua News Agency reported that the mainland has relaxed entry quarantine regulations.
China cut the quarantine period for international travelers on Tuesday, a big step toward loosening Covid controls that have persisted for more than two years.
The original 14-day centralized isolation medical observation will be reduced to 7 days, and the next 7 days of home health monitoring will also be reduced to 3 days, that is, only 7 days of centralized isolation after entry. Isolation medical observation plus 3-day home health monitoring.
Overseas travelers will only need to quarantine at a centralized facility, such as a hotel, for seven days upon arrival in mainland China, the National Health Commission announced Tuesday. Travelers will need to spend three additional days at home before they can venture out, the commission said.
Previously, overseas arrivals in China typically had to spend 14 to 21 days in centralized quarantine, depending on the city of entry and destination within the country.
Tuesday’s announcement also said that within China, close contacts of confirmed Covid cases would likewise only need to spend seven days in centralized quarantine, followed by three days of health monitoring at home.
Previously, Covid-related isolation requirements tended to last for at least 14 days.
Mainland China reported for Monday one confirmed Covid case with symptoms — in the southern province of Guangdong — and 21 cases with no symptoms. The cities of Beijing and Shanghai reported none in either category.
In the last few months, some cities began to reduce the length of mandatory isolation.
In the capital city of Beijing in early May had required 10 days in centralized quarantine and seven days at home, down from 14 days of centralized quarantine.
China began to tighten its borders in late March 2020 as Covid-19 started to come under control domestically while spreading rapidly overseas. Covid-19 first emerged in late 2019 in the Chinese city of Wuhan.
That marks the biggest changes to the rules since China closed its borders in 2020, but the controls remain tough compared to many countries that have completely reopened and dropped testing requirements.
The bar for a negative test result has also been lowered.
The “cycle threshold”, or Ct, the value on PCR tests will be 35 – the number used by most countries – instead of 40.
The Ct value indicates how hard it is for the test to detect the virus, so a lower threshold means a negative result is more likely.